PredPol is Predictive Policing
The mission of PredPol is simple: place officers at the right time and location to give them the best chance of preventing crime.
To accomplish this, PredPol processes crime data in order to:
- Assign probabilities of future crime events to regions of space and time
- Present estimated crime risk in a useable framework to law enforcement decision makers
- Lead to more efficient & more accurate resource deployment by local law enforcement agencies
“The theory is that you prevent them from committing the crime to begin with…Burglars and thieves work in a mathematical way, whether they know it or not.” Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll (Modesto Bee, July 27, 2014)
Only What, Where and When – Not Who
PredPol uses only three data points in making predictions: past type of crime, place of crime and time of crime. It uses no personal information about individuals or groups of individuals, eliminating any personal liberties and profiling concerns.
For many jurisdictions, predictive policing strategy encourages patrol officers to work as partners with communities in the locations where crime is most likely to occur. PredPol is one of the tools to guide location-based strategies in which law enforcement officers communicate and build relationships with residents to engage them in community crime watch efforts.
“All the computer takes into effect are actual incidents that have occurred and have been reported…It really doesn’t know anything about the demographics of individuals that live in that area, what the economic statuses of these individuals are, or anything about the person. It’s all area-specific.” Santa Cruz, CA Police Department Deputy Chief Steve Clark (Al Jazeera America, September 15, 2013)
Force Multiplier for Law Enforcement Agencies
The PredPol tool was developed over the course of six years by a team of PhD mathematicians and social scientists at UCLA and Santa Clara University in close collaboration with crime analysts and line level officers at the Los Angeles and Santa Cruz Police Departments. PredPol’s predictive policing tool enables law enforcement to enhance and better direct the patrol resources they have. It does not replace, but requires, the insights of veteran officers and crime analysts.
Analysts and command staff using PredPol are 100% more effective than traditional hotspot mapping at predicting where and when crimes are likely to occur. That means police have twice as many opportunities to deter and reduce crime.
“Predictive policing and the Technology Innovation Center have become banner programs for the Atlanta Police Foundation and have aided in significant crime reduction and prevention over the past year. We are helping to position the Atlanta Police Department as a national leader in cutting edge, technology-based policing solutions.”
Dave Wilkinson, President and CEO, Atlanta Police Foundation (The Police Chief Magazine “Technology Talk”, May 2014)
Dispatching Patrol Units with Predictive Policing
For patrol officers, PredPol’s predictive policing information can be printed or accessed securely through computers or mobile devices in the field. The tool can be set up within weeks and generates actionable predictions for each shift in one click of a mouse.
The annual subscription cost is straightforward, based on population served rather than amount of crime or number of users. There is no new hardware to buy, no new hires to make, no limit on the number of law enforcement users and unlimited updates.
PredPol’s Mission Statement:
Help communities reduce crime by predicting and preventing it. Jurisdictions large and small have seen dramatic reductions in crime since deploying PredPol:
- LAPD ‘s Foothill division saw a 20% drop in predicted crimes year over year from January 2013 –2014
- Atlanta Police Department’s aggregate crime decreased by 8% and 9% in the two areas that first deployed PredPol in July 2013
- Modesto, CA PD just reported the lowest crime rates in 3 years since deployment in January 2014
- The Norcross Police Department saw a 15-30% reduction in burglaries and robberies, just four months after it deployed the technology in August 2013
- Alhambra, CA PD reported reported a 32% drop in burglaries and a 20% drop in vehicle theft since deploying in January 2013. The city reported its lowest month of crime in history in May 2014
Law enforcement agencies nationwide are facing budget freezes and deep cuts, requiring them to manage their resources more effectively while still responding to public demand for crime prevention and reduction.
PredPol’s patented technology forecasts highest risk times and places for future crimes. The program complements officers’ intuition by targeting place-based prediction areas, depicted in 500 feet by 500 feet boxes on maps, that are automatically generated for each shift of each day.
In contrast to technology that simply maps past crime data, PredPol applies advanced mathematics and adaptive computer learning. It has resulted in predictions twice as accurate as those made through existing best practices by building on the knowledge and experience that already exists. PredPol uses no personal information about individuals or groups of individuals, eliminating any personal liberties and profiling concerns.